The Toronto Raptors are one win away from vanquishing the Golden State Warriors and claiming their first NBA championship.
The Raptors, a franchise founded in 1995 and known for bowing out meekly in the playoffs, can earn their first title if they defeat the defending champion Warriors in Tuesday's (AEST) game five in Toronto.
The Raptors beat the Warriors 105-92 despite Golden State's vocal crowd in possibly the last game played at Oakland's historic Oracle Arena.
It gave the Raptors a 3-1 lead in the NBA finals, but coach Nick Nurse said he wasn't expecting the Warriors to lie down.
"Home or away, we know how hard we have to play," Nurse said.
The Warriors jumped to an 11-point first-quarter lead and were ahead 46-42 at half-time, but All-Star Kawhi Leonard came out in the third quarter and hit back- to-back Toronto three-pointers to spark a game-winning surge.
The Raptors outscored the Warriors 37-21 in the decisive third period.
Leonard dominated the game with 36 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, while centre-forward Serge Ibaka was Toronto's x-factor coming off the bench with 20 points on nine-for-12 shooting, four rebounds and two blocks.
The Warriors have to win three games in a row to retain the championship.
Only one team in NBA history - LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 - have recovered from 1-3 down in the championship series to take the title.
The Cavs achieved that feat against the Warriors.
Yet the Warriors noted they also achieved a 1-3 comeback series win, in the 2016 western conference finals against Oklahoma City Thunder.
In that series they concentrated on one game at a time and coach Steve Kerr said that was the plan heading to Toronto.
"We're not thinking about winning three games," Kerr said.
"We're thinking about winning one."
The Warriors, seeking their fourth title in five years and attempting to confirm their place on the list of great NBA teams, allowed sharpshooter Klay Thompson and back-up centre Kevon Looney to play despite injuries that kept them out of the side's 123-109 game three loss.
Thompson, hampered by a hamstring strain, was heroic logging 42 minutes and top-scoring for the Warriors with 28 points, nailing six three-pointers.
Big man Looney fractured cartilage near his collar bone but still managed 10 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
Pressure is on the Warriors to play All-Star Kevin Durant in game five despite a calf strain that has kept him out of the finals.
Superstar Steph Curry had 27 points, though missed seven of nine three-pointers, and veteran Australian centre Andrew Bogut was scoreless but had six rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench.
If the Raptors win game five and the title on Tuesday in Toronto, Saturday's loss in Oakland will be the last time the Warriors play at Oracle Arena, the NBA's oldest stadium and Golden State's home since 1971.
They'll play in San Francisco's new $US1.4 billion Chase Center next season.